Joe Wilcox: ‘The Windows era is over, a new era dawns’

“About five years ago, when blogging as an analyst, I asserted that computing and informational relevance had started shifting from the Windows desktop to cloud services delivered anytime, anywhere and on anything,” Joe Wilcox wtites for Betanews. “The day of Windows’ reckoning is come: 2010 will mark dramatic shifts away from Microsoft’s monopoly to something else. Change is inevitable, and like IBM in the 1980s, Microsoft can’t hold back its destiny during this decade. The Windows era is over.”

“What’s surprising: New competition encroaching on Microsoft’s Windows territory. Mobile device-to-cloud competition’s shifting relevance bears striking similarities to the move from mainframes to PCs, and it is a long, ongoing trend. Microsoft’s newer problem is sudden and unexpected: Competing operating systems moving up from smartphones to PCs or PC-like device,” Wilcox writes. “Apple’s iPhone OS on iPad is one example.”

Sure, “Windows is a cash machine. But so was the IBM mainframe monopoly before the dawn of the PC era and for many years afterwards. The DOS/Windows PC didn’t destroy IBM or its mainframe monopoly, but simply diminish its computing and informational relevance. Windows is on the same track,” Wilcox writes. “The mobile device-to-cloud applications stack will merely displace Windows’ relevance. It’s inevitable.”

Wilcox writes, “Still, it might not be obvious to many people that the Windows cash machine could run out. That’s because change can be dramatic and sudden, although the causes and progression tend to be long-time coming. The Berlin Wall fell suddenly in 1989, but not without Perestroika and a warming of the Cold War preceding it. Similarly, Windows’ dominance will seemingly change suddenly and, I predict, during the first half of this decade. A new era dawns.”

“Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer should have listened to me. In December, I gave 10 reasons why Microsoft should buy Palm. Had he bought Palm, Microsoft’s future phone strategy would be stronger and Windows wouldn’t be weakened by a major partner adopting an alternative-OS strategy,” Wilcox writes. “HP already has announced a WebOS-based tablet. HP’s next, logical step is to release a laptop running WebOS. Losing HP is bad, but there may be more trouble coming. Sony is yet another traitor in the making.”

Full article, in which Wilcox mistakenly thinks far too highly of Google’s derivative Android’s future, here.


  1. He only saw this coming five years ago?! It was clear over ten years ago that Microsoft was out of ideas. The company’s only expertise was in predatory business practices, and the top management was/is technologically illiterate. So it didn’t matter how much talent they hired, since Gates and Ballmer didn’t understand the first thing about technology. Good ideas almost never made it into products. Copying Apple, an early success for them, became harder and harder because management never grasped Apple’s conceptual thinking. And then msft proved to be bad businessmen when the predatory behavior become less effective. Their new product ventures and acquisitions have failed spectacularly.

    Microsoft has been dead for a decade. But it’s such an enormous corpse, it takes a long time to rot.

  2. Microsoft’s biggest failings in the last five years: neglecting their mobile unit, not really trying to compete with iTunes and iPod (Zune and Zune Marketplace is a joke), and not taking Google and Apple seriously.

    Not taking Google and Apple seriously is a Balmer ego problem. Microsoft needs a new CEO because Balmer is still in denial and has run the company into mediocrity.

    Apple has momentum, so does Google. I just hope Apple takes the consumer’s living room seriously; Apple TV. This will be the next battle ground, IP TV. Google and Boxee know it. It’s time for Apple to dominate that market too.

  3. BS.

    And what a bunch of deluded replies here.

    Windows 7 has already become the 2nd most widely used O/S in the world behind XP, is a very short period of time, and desktops have seen a resurgence in sales. I don’t see Windows desktops going away soon. iPads are not going to make traditional computers go away. No way.

    I also don’t buy that cloud computing is the future. Sorry but I do like the idea of my data and applications to be housed in a networked “cloud”. Who is that really going to benefit anyway ? The providers, and the hackers who steal all our data one day !

  4. Funny how all the statistical geniuses never count iPhones, iPod Touches, or ipads as personal computers or Os’s…

    What would the numbers really look like if they did…?

    What does the horizon look like with those in mind?

    Anew Era, a new paradigm.

  5. Microsoft has abused their customers for far too long. First they got away with grand theft when they stole the GUI from Apple. Then they should have been charged with felonies for the crappy “updated” operating systems such as Vista. They will pay the price for lack of innovation and I won’t cry for them.

  6. “Apple doesn’t offer an open platform like Microsoft does.”

    The above is an idiot’s post on Joe’s story. The Mac is open. Anyone can make software for the Mac. Even Microsoft can make crap software for it.

    Unix is open and Apple’s OS X uses Unix. OS X also uses internet standards. How open is that?

  7. Comment from the article:
    “… Your suggesting that PC’s are going away, which is like asking Americans to give up thier guns. It will be met with a lot of opposition.”

    This seemed to reflect the opinions of a lot of posters. And this, I think, is exactly MS’s problem. MS and MS fanboys, think that the general public is as invested to MS as they are.

    But they’re not. It’s familiar & safe, but that’s about it.

    The sheeple will buy whatever they think everyone else is buying. The second MS gets the stink of death on it, people will migrate away.

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